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Jorge Diaz (minors03)

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Jorge Díaz Olano (The Spider)

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[edit] Biographical Information

Second baseman Jorge Díaz played in both Cuba and the US.

He hit .283/.379/.375 in six seasons for Villa Clara in the Cuban National Series, with 107 steals in 195 tries. He fielded .973. In 1991-1992, he shared Serie Nacional Rookie of the Year honors with René Espín, one of only two teams the award was split (through 2013). He hit six triples in the 1993-1994 Serie Nacional to tie José Estrada and Pedro Luis Rodríguez for the league lead. A failed defection attempt ended his Cuban career in the spring of 1998. Diaz and fellow Villa Clara teammates Ángel López, Maikel Jova and Jorge Toca, plus pitching coach Orlando Chinea, reached the Bahamas by boat, but were captured by Bahamian authorities and repatriated to Cuba. A second defection attempt in the late summer of 1998 was successful, with Diaz, Lopez, Jova, Osmani Garcia, and Alain Hernandez successfully establishing residency in Costa Rica.

Known as "The Spider" for his defensive prowess, Díaz played one season in the Texas Rangers farm system, splitting time between the 2000 Charlotte Rangers (.274/.377/.330 in 51 G) and GCL Rangers (3 for 9, BB). He then played four years in various independent leagues. He hit .322/.397/.458 for the 2002 Allentown Ambassadors. Remaining with Allentown in 2003, he batted .282/.347/.382 with 28 steals in 42 tries. He was one steal behind Northeast League leader Schuyler Doakes and was one caught-stealing behind pacesetter Marcos Agramonte. He was 5th in average, between Pat Scalabrini and Eddie Lantigua. He lost All-Star honors at 2B to Scalabrini.

Jorge split 2003 between the San Angelo Colts (.287/.374/.366, 50 SB, 15 CS) and Somerset Patriots (.302/.413/.397 in 20 G). He led the Central Baseball League in both steals (9 more than the runner-up) and times caught stealing (one more than the runner-up). He wrapped up in 2005, producing at a .343/.443/.429 rate for the El Paso Diablos to bring his minor league line to .304/.392/.396, better than his Cuban stats. He also stole 125 bases in 177 attempts in the US, while fielding .967. For 2005, he was second in the Central League in OBP (behind Jon-Paul Schmidt), fourth in average (behind Schmidt, Jorge Alvarez and Jordan Foster) and led in times caught stealing (12; only successful 15 times). He was named the All-Star 2B.

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